The Florida Keys have a year-round swimming season from January to December. The water temperature in Florida Keys does not fall below 68°F throughout those months, making swimming enjoyable. In the Florida Keys, the water is an average temperature of 75.4°F in the winter, 78.6°F in the spring, 85.6°F in the summer, and 82.8°F in the fall.
Based on historical data collected by Sea Water Temperature over a ten-year period, the Florida Keys’ hottest water temperature on this day was 86°F in 2009, while the coolest was 82.9°F in 2008.
If you’re planning a beach vacation and want to take advantage of the warm water, select the season, location, and minimum tolerable sea/ocean temperature that appeals to you. The waves’ height, wind strength, and direction are additional crucial factors for a relaxing beach vacation. You may also research surf forecasts if you plan to spend your vacation in the Florida Keys.
Weather and Climate Conditions In The Florida Keys
The weather is likely nicer in the Florida Keys than wherever you are right now. Even on a hot summer day, that is true. The typical high during the height of July is 89° F (32° C). No superhighways or sprawling cities exist to reflect the sun’s heat. Additionally, the ocean waters that surround the islands are chilly.
On hot weekends, Floridians on the mainland head to the Keys since the air is typically a few degrees cooler there. Despite being in the mid-80s (30° C) in temperature, the sea is still a delightful place to go swimming, snorkeling, or diving. Although frost can sometimes be brought to mainland Florida by cold fronts in the winter, you can be confident that it won’t happen in the Keys. Given that the typical water temperature is in the mid-70s, divers and snorkelers can usually get by with a “shortie” wet suit.
It rarely rains during the winter months. However, the season’s first thunderstorms begin to appear by late May. They rarely linger long enough to ruin an entire day. The Atlantic hurricane season, which can impact the United States Atlantic and Gulf coasts and the Caribbean and the Bahamas, may have you wondering.
The officially recognized hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30. Historically, August and October have the greatest chance of storms. However, the surrounding waters are warm and tranquil, and the daily weather tends to be some of the most beautiful of the year.
Fun Things To Do In The Florida Keys All Year Round
It’s all about being on, in, or beneath the water along this 110-mile stretch of sea and islands that runs south from Key Largo to Key West. You may want to check out first our blog about the Best Beaches In Florida Keys before going out, so you’ll have an idea of where to go.
Species capable of fighting are found in open waters, creeks bordered by mangroves, and backwater bays. These fish include grouper, tarpon, and sailfish. You can travel the Overseas Highway with your boat or rent one from one of the many marinas in the Keys.
Outfitters offer boats of every kind, including pontoons, party boats, fishing boats, flats boats, and even private sailing charters. The Lorelei Marina in Islamorada also has a pink Cadillac tour boat or pirate ship.
See What’s Beneath The Surface Through Diving and Snorkeling Activities
The Keys are home to many top-notch diving and snorkeling locations, but the Dry Tortugas and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park are the most well-known ones. Visit Pennekamp as it is one of the few national parks focusing on underwater coral reefs (and the one and only on the Eastern seaboard). The Dry Tortugas’ attractiveness stems from their seclusion from the other islands and the unusual sensation of swimming across Fort Jefferson’s former moat.
All things considered, Islamorada, Marathon, and Big Pine Key offer some fantastic, underappreciated diving and snorkeling in the midst of The Keys. Access patch reefs (smaller, isolated reefs) from Islamorada; the magnificent Sombrero Reef is offshore from Marathon; and the ocean-facing Looe Key barrier reef is near Big Pine. These locations are home to a wide variety of marine life, including sea turtles, but they can only be reached by boat trip.
Explore Around The Keys by Paddling and Kayaking
You can paddle around The Florida Keys and Key West peacefully due to the calm waters on more than a thousand islands. If you don’t have that much time, think about taking a few quick trips around John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Bring some snorkeling equipment, as this is one of Lower 48’s best-preserved coral reefs.
There are 170 acres of dry parkland, and more than 48,000 acres (75 sq miles) of wetland are in this location, with the ocean making up most of the protected area. The coral-fringed Christ of the Abyss, an 8.5-foot, 4000-pound bronze sculpture of Jesus that is a replica of a similar sculpture of the Portofino Peninsula in northern Italy, is the park’s most well-known attraction.
Head to Islamorada to hire a kayak and paddle out to Indian Key, which was once a bustling small community of a few dozen people but is now a scene of calm, decaying ruins and unspoiled natural beauty.
Get Some Exercise by Walking, Hiking, and Biking
The finest way to discover Key West, the most populated area of The Keys, is also the simplest way to get outside. The town’s historic district, on the island’s western side, is not only convenient for walking—it’s almost designed for it.
As a tourist, having a car is useless because of the limited distances, narrow streets, and lack of parking. It is preferable to walk up Duval Street, turn left or right, and then become happily lost among the old homes surrounded by bougainvillea and palm fronds. You can also save money with many free things to do in Key West.
If you need a place to go, think about going to the Key West Cemetery, a gothic area where the native inhabitants of the islands’ forefathers rest in peace.
Since there isn’t much elevation in the Keys, hiking isn’t particularly popular there, but there are plenty of lovely nature trails to explore.
At Curry Hammock State Park in Marathon, you can lose yourself in the humid shade of the tropical hardwood forest or say hello to the alligators that swim around the Blue Hole on Big Pine Key. The Blue Hole may be reached by turning onto Key Deer Blvd off the Overseas Highway. Follow that road until you see the signs. The Blue Hole is a limestone sinkhole ringed by a platform trail a few hundred feet long.
Biking around Key West is simple and enjoyable, with easy access to places like Mallory Square, Mile Marker Zero, Ernest Hemingway’s house, the southernmost tip of the continental U.S., and more.
The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail should be taken into consideration if you want to cycle a wider area of the archipelago. The trail connects Key Largo and Key West, making it the slowest and most picturesque way to get between the islands. Beautiful vantage spots abound throughout the route, and the flat terrain is ideal for cycling. However, be careful because certain sections of the trail cross abruptly from the ocean side of the road to the bay side. Additionally, the trail and the congested Overseas Highway share a 3-foot shoulder in certain places.
Despite that, cycling the islands may be a truly magical experience; just be sure to check with local outfitters before you hop on two wheels.
Water Temperature in Florida Keys FAQs
The Florida Keys have a year-round swimming season from January to December. The water temperature in the Florida Keys does not fall below 68°F throughout those months, making swimming enjoyable.
If you’re planning a beach vacation and want to take advantage of the warm water, select the season, location, and minimum tolerable sea/ocean temperature that appeals to you.
The weather is likely nicer in the Florida Keys than wherever you are right now. Even on a hot summer day, that is true.
In the Florida Keys, the water is an average temperature of 75.4°F in the winter, 78.6°F in the spring, 85.6°F in the summer, and 82.8°F in the fall.
When participating in moderate physical activity in a pool or open water, the World Health Organization recommends water temperatures between 78 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit as being both comfortable and safe.
However, health issues arise from either extreme—too hot or too cold—and when it comes to issues with water temperature, the danger is correlated with one’s own health and activity.
It is advised that everyone approach excessive water temperatures, whether in a pool or the open ocean, with caution.
With an average daily high temperature below 77°F, the cool season lasts for 3.0 months, from December 7 to March 6. In the Florida Keys, January is the coldest month of the year, with an average low of 66°F and high of 74°F.